What is the chemical formula for potassium phosphate?


Quick Answer

The chemical formulas for two nutritional and medicinal forms of potassium phosphate are KH2PO4 for the monobasic ionic salt (monopotassium phosphate), and K2HPO4 for the dibasic ionic salt (dipotassium phosphate). Potassium phosphate generally refers to the ionic salt compounds containing potassium and the phosphate ion, which also includes tripotassium phosphate (K3HPO4). Phosphorus is found in tissues and cells throughout the human body, and the monobasic and dibasic potassium phosphate salts can be used as dietary supplements to help remedy deficiencies.

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Full Answer

Phosphorous in its elemental form is highly toxic, and it ignites when it comes in contact with air. Because of its role in the human body, which includes the means by which cells use and store energy, the inorganic phosphate compounds can be beneficial as supplements. Most individuals, however, are able to obtain an ample amount of phosphorous from their normal diet. The mineral is contained in high-protein foods, whole grains and dried fruit. A recommended daily amount of phosphorus for adults is 700 milligrams, as noted by the University of Maryland Medical Center.

In addition to the monobasic and dibasic potassium phosphates, supplemental phosphorous can be obtained from monbasic and dibasic sodium phosphate. Certain medications, such as some blood thinners, diuretics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, may cause the body's phosphorous levels to drop. Supplements containing a form of inorganic phosphate may be required to prevent or minimize deficiency symptoms such as fatigue, stiff joints and numbness.

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